September is just around the corner which means all over the country new students are heading off to uni, many of whom are moving away from home. Moving away from home for uni may bring along more freedom in many respects but it also comes with more responsibility. Among those responsibilities is managing your finances which can be difficult if it is something you are not used to. Knowing how to create an effective budget, understanding student finance and everything in between can be difficult and we have plenty of articles on our blog which can help you, including this post detailing 5 things to make sure you don’t overlook when budgeting for university.
Additional Course Costs
Course costs extend beyond just what your student loans cover. Tuition fees are likely your main course cost but you will almost certainly need to buy additional materials from textbooks to software and programmes to complete coursework. Before you rush out to buy these books etc. explore alternative options to save money such as finding your books for free at a library or using alternative cheaper or free programmes which allow you to do the same work and perhaps are just missing the unnecessary bells and whistles.
Transport costs ad up whether you use public transport, ride sharing apps like Uber or are driving, transportation expenses can be significant. It is important to factor transport costs into your budget but before you do be sure to find ways to reduce your travel costs. If you frequent rail travel, a 16-25 railcard could save you some money offering a third off rail fares for £30 per year. For £12.50 (including postage and packaging) a National Express Young Person Coachcard offers a third off coach fares. If you are driving your own car don’t overlook the relevant costs and for further savings make sure you compare your car insurance options.
When you first go to uni, if you are not used to paying bills, utilities can go overlooked. Utilities such as water and electricity can sometimes be included in your accommodation bill, however, this is not always the case so be sure to look into it and understand how much your utility bills will cost you and factor the cost into your budget. Wi-Fi can also be covered in your rent so be sure to see if this is the case or not. Where white goods such as fridge, freezers and washing machines are included landlords may also cover the cost of repairs. Make sure you know what expenses you are expected to pay for directly and what is covered in your rent so you can budget effectively.
It is easy to overlook insurance as a student, after all it may seem a though you don’t have anything worth insuring but this is often not the case. Most people have a mobile phone and as a student you likely have a computer or laptop. Other tech such as a TV, sound systems and game systems can all be worth insuring. If you have valuable goods worth insuring be sure to explore your insurance options and factor insurance into your budget.
Even on a student budget it is possible to save money. Of course you are unlikely to be able to save huge sums but a little bit of money saved every month will add up over your time at Uni. The best way to stay consistent with your savings is to actually budget for it and to prioritise saving, meaning save first then spend second. If you start by spending with the intention of saving any remaining money at the end of the month there’s a strong chance you won’t have as much money left as you would like, if any at all.
Smart budgeting is going to help you set yourself up for a strong financial future. Learning to manage money early is going to help you significantly and it expands far beyond just making sure you don’t miss anything from your budget. Learn more about money saving, paying for university, financial products and much more with our Comparison blog.